I is for Irving : Books about Immigrant and Songwriter Irving Berlin, who wrote the song "God Bless America"
Irving Berlin was born on May 11, 1888, in Russia and was named Israel Baline. He was about five years old when his family migrated to New York city in 1893 to escape Russian persecution of Jews. As a teenager, he was forced by poverty to become a street singer instead of attending school, and by 1906 was working as a singing waiter. When his first published tune "Marie From Sunny Italy," appeared in 1907, his name was misprinted as I. Berlin, and he decided to take the name Irving Berlin.
Though he had no formal training, Irving composed more than 1,500 songs and scored many musicals and films, establishing himself on Broadway and in Hollywood. 1942's Holiday Inn featured Bing Crosby singing Berlin's "White Christmas," the highest-selling tune in history. Irving was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won in 1943 for "White Christmas." He wrote patriotic songs while serving in the Army in World War I, and his most famous patriotic song, "God Bless America," is sung even today.
Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing
Nancy Churnin (Author), James Ray Sanchez (Illustrator)
Publisher: Creston Books (May 2018)
Hardcover, 32 pages: Ages: 7-12 yrs
Famous Immigrants: The 20th Century (Primary Source Readers) - Irving Berlin
Debra J. Housel (Author)
Publisher: Teacher Created Materials (2007)
Paperback, 32 pages: Ages: 10-18 yrs; Grades 4 and up
Say it with Music: A Story about Irving Berlin
Tom Streissguth (Author), Jennifer Hagerman (Illustrator)
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books, Creative Minds Biography Series (1993)
Hardcover Book, 64 pages: Ages: 8-11 yrs; Grades 3-6
Review: Booklist, School Library Journal, Amazon Review: 5*
Alexander Hamilton was born on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies on Jan 11, 1755 (or 1757). In 1773, when he was about 16 years old, he migrated to the United States to study at King's College (now called Columbia University). He fought in the Revolutionary War and became an advisor to George Washington.
Alexander Hamilton studied to become a lawyer and was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He believed in a system of success where merit and hard work were more important than birth. He was a co-author of the Federalist papers, which are used even today to understand the U.S. Constitution. George Washington appointed him as the first Secretary of the Treasury. He helped found the first national bank, the U.S. Mint, and a taxation system. He laid the foundation of the modern banking industry.
Who Was Alexander Hamilton?
Pam Pollack, Meg Belviso (Authors); Dede Putra (Illustrator)
Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap (Aug 2017)
Ages: 8-12 yrs; Grades: 3-7
Review: On Preorder
Alexander Hamilton: From Orphan to Founding Father
Monica Kulling (Author); Valerio Fabbretti (Illustrator)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (2017)
Chapter Book: 48 pp; Ages: 5-8 yrs; K-3
Review: Amazon Review 4.5*
Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in History
Don Brown (Author, Illustrator)
Publisher: Roaring Book Press (2015)
Chapter Book: 32 pp; Ages: 5-7 yrs, Grades K-4
Review: Amazon Review 4*
Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider
Jean Fritz (Author)
Puffin Books (2012)
Chapter Bk: 144 pp; Ages: 8-12 yrs; Grades 3-7
Review: Amazon Review 4.5*
Clive Campbell was born in Jamaica in 1955, and migrated with his family to the Bronx at the age of 13. He wanted to be a DJ and hosted parties with his sister Cindy in the recreation room of their building, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. Here he created a new style that laid the foundation for hip hop music, by extending the instrumental beat to allow people to dance longer, and calling out to dancers during the extended breakdancing. Clive shortened his nickname Hercules (which he acquired when he grew taller than six feet) and became DJ Kool Herc.
When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop
Laban Carrick Hill (Author); Theodore Taylor III (Illustrator)
Publisher: Roaring Book Press (2013)
Ages: 6-10 yrs; Grades 1-5
Review: Amazon Reviews 4.5*, School LIbrary Journal Junior Library Guild Review
Additional Online Sources:
PBS Independent Lens
Starting with A is for Albert, B is for Blackwell, and C is for Clive, the series highlights the contributions made by immigrants to science, art, medicine, and more - to the founding of our nation, our institutions and our ways of living. This series provides a starting point for parents, educators and librarians to shape personal perspectives, create common narratives, and increase awareness of the tremendous impact that immigrants have had on our country.